The agreement is the Bank’s first private-sector loan to the East African nation.
DAL Group chairman Osama Daoud Abdellatif said that business in Sudan has suffered for years due to lack of finance for agriculture, noting the agreement marks the first significant financing DAL Group has received.
“At the end of the day, Sudan is an agricultural country, and there is so much we can do. I hope this is the beginning of many projects we can do together,” Abdellatif said.
DAL Group is Sudan’s one of the largest foods and agriculture business company. The Bank loan will contribute to DAL Group’s Investment Programme, part of the company’s strategic growth initiative for Sudan and the East African region. Under this programme, DAL Group aims to reduce the nation’s dependence on imports and increase its capacity to source and produce raw material locally.
The DAL Group employs more than 8,200 people and with the new support from the African Development Bank, the Group will be in a position to create more than 2,000 additional jobs over an eight-year period.
Jennifer Blanke, AfDB’s vice-president for agriculture, human and social development, said, “This is AfDB’s first private-sector loan in Sudan. I am delighted that it is in agriculture and agri-business, which is so important for Sudan’s development.”
Additionally, the financing will support DAL Group initiatives toward creating a conducive work environment for women and promoting equal opportunities for employment, such as up-skilling and training, creating an adapted industrial working environment that accommodates the cultural needs of women, as well as family-friendly work schedules and social benefits.
The transaction presents an opportunity for the Bank to leverage private sector investments which have considerable development outcomes and additionality, as well as opportunity to support an otherwise underserved Transition State.
Towards Africa’s agricultural transformation
The Bank-DAL Group agreement is in line with the priority development objectives of the AfDB Group and consistent with the Bank’s action plan for African agricultural transformation, known as Feed Africa. The Bank’s Feed Africa strategy focuses on transforming African agriculture into a globally competitive, inclusive and business-oriented sector that creates wealth, generates gainful employment and improves quality of life.